IHRSA Reveals New Name, Wraps Up 2024 Convention & Trade Show

March 16, 2024

The 2024 IHRSA Convention & Trade Show wrapped last week with buzz about the organization’s new name launch and targeted mission to be the global community for health and fitness leaders focused on advocacy, education, and research. The association’s new name is the Health & Fitness Association.

Health & Fitness Association President & CEO Liz Clark revealed the new name prior to the keynote on the first day of the event, which occurred March 6-8 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, CA.

IHRSA 2024 welcomed more than 300 exhibitors, 150 speakers, and 8,700 fitness professionals, which preliminary numbers show is a double-digit increase in overall attendance from last year.

“The feedback we have received from around the world has been overwhelmingly positive, as we are THE Health & Fitness Association,” Liz said. “People from nearly 80 countries attended the event, and many of them were in the packed first-day keynote address to hear this announcement in person.”

The association arrived at the new name after consultation with members, supplier partners, consultants inside and outside the industry, as well as some of the original founders of the association.

“We were very deliberate in choosing our new name,” Liz said. “The name demonstrates the breadth of our reach and our industry’s impact—yes, we are fitness, but we are also health. We play a role in improving mental health and preventing chronic disease—we are part of the solution. Our new name not only provides clarity about who we are, but it also will help us gain greater respect from policymakers whose decisions impact our members on a daily basis.”

Rollout of the rebrand will continue for several months with updates to the website, social media platforms, email addresses, signage, and contracts ongoing.

New Board Members
The rebrand wasn’t the only news at the IHRSA 2024. During the annual meeting on March 8, the association elected five new board members whose terms will begin on July 1.

New board members are:
* Deborah Fiorella, chief technology and digital officer at 24 Hour Fitness
* Richard Idgar, COO of EoS
* Ahmar Azam, founder and CEO of TriFit
* Mel Kleist, CEO of East Bank Club
* Matthew Stevens, president and CEO of Bay Club Company
A new chair and vice chair will be elected at the June board meeting.

Award Recipients
The Health & Fitness Association also bestowed awards on three industry leaders:
* Lynne Brick, co-founder of Brick Bodies and one of the largest franchisees of Planet Fitness, received the Woman Leader Award in honor of Julie Main.
* Kevin McHugh, COO of The Atlantic Club, received the Jim Worthington Advocate of the Year Award.
* Alan Leach, CEO of The West Wood Clubs, received the John Holsinger Global Leadership Award.

Other highlights of the event included the three keynotes.

In the March 6 keynote, sponsored by ABC Fitness, Mariana Atencio, award-winning journalist and best-selling author of Perfectly You: Embracing the Power of Being Real, shared her personal story of realizing the power of being her unique self and offered advice on how attendees can do the same.

In the March 7 keynote, sponsored by Keiser Corporation, Mark Mastrov, principal at New Evolution Ventures, LLC, and founder of 24 Hour Fitness Worldwide Inc., UFC Gym, and Crunch 2.0, responded to questions from Liz about entrepreneurship, the direction of the industry, investor interest, and more.

In the March 8 keynote, sponsored by Matrix Fitness, Will Guidara, restaurateur and best-selling author of Unreasonable Hospitality, offered examples of how giving people more than they expect can not only boost your brand’s reputation and business but can also create unexpected returns with your staff.

The 2025 Convention & Trade Show is scheduled for March 12-14, 2025, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

About the Health & Fitness Association

The Health & Fitness Association, a global community of industry leaders, is the only worldwide trade association providing a unified voice for the community of leaders who operate health and fitness facilities, offer professional guidance on physical activity, and provide the tools and equipment to do so to the millions of fitness facility members who understand that exercise improves their physical and mental health. Through advocacy, education, and research, the association speaks to opportunities, challenges, and changes that are moving the industry into a new era. Founded in 1981, the association publishes a monthly magazine, Club Business International, and operates its Convention & Trade Show. Follow the Health & Fitness Association on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.